New Delhi: person accused in a criminal case is under obligation to go for a test identification parade (TIP) during an investigation under the Code of Criminal Procedure and it does not violate any constitutional right, the Supreme Court has held.
A bench comprising Justices M M Sundresh and J B Pardiwala made the observation in a judgment by which it dismissed the appeal of a convict in a murder case.
The top court said the TIP does not violate the fundamental right of an accused under Article 20(3) of the Constitution which provides that no accused can be compelled to be a witness against himself.
The bench said that merely taking part in the TIP does not amount to becoming a witness against himself.
“We are of the view that after the introduction of Section 54A in the CrPC referred to above, an accused is under an obligation to stand for identification parade. An accused cannot resist subjecting himself to the TIP on the ground that he cannot be forced or coerced for the same,” the bench said.
The apex court said if the accused is coerced to give evidence against himself, then Article 20(3) of the Constitution will step in to protect him.
“However, if that evidence can be procured without any positive volitional evidentiary act on the part of the accused, Article 20(3) of the Constitution will have no application. The accused while subjecting himself to the TIP, does not produce any evidence or perform any evidentiary act,” the bench said.
The bench dealt with the question of whether an accused can decline to participate in the TIP on the grounds that he was already shown to the eyewitnesses prior to the conduct of the TIP and in such circumstances, the TIP would be nothing short of creating evidence against him.
The bench dismissed the appeal of Mukesh Singh against the trial court and the Delhi High Court verdicts in a murder case. The trial court had awarded him and two others life terms for waylaying a person for robbery and killing him by using an ice pick after being resisted.
They had refused to undergo the TIP on the grounds that one of the “planted” eyewitnesses had seen them before the test identification parade.

Accused in criminal case under obligation to stand for TIP: SC added by on
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